Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello Bloggers!

There are always times in a teachers life when they think, "How can I do this?" I'm talking about the struggle of preparing a lesson for everything, adapting those lessons, knowing your content and 500 ways on how to teach it, attending professional development after hours, recording and interpreting data everyday, spending my own money just to ensure my classroom is equipped with the best supplies and maintaining a community of learners all while knowing everything about anything. The question is not how can I do this, but why I do this. This is a short story my student teaching mentor gave me when times were tough. It gets me fired-up and makes me love all these challenges that make-up the teaching profession.

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.  He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”  He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers:  “Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, teach.”

To stress his point he said to another guest; “You’re a teacher, Bonnie.  Be honest.  What do you make?”

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honest and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make?  (She paused for a second, and then began…)  “Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.  I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.  I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental…

“You want to know what I make?”  (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them to write and then I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math.
I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my student feel safe.
I make my students stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, because we live in the United States of America.
Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)  “Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant…You want to know what I make?”

I MAKE A DIFFERENCEWhat do you make?”

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